Bola Tinubu, former governor of Lagos state and national leader of the All progressives Congress (APC), has finally reacted to the ongoing trial of the Senate president Bukola Saraki by the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).
Tinubu said that President Muhammadu Buhari’s government cannot overlook certain things in its fight against corruption.
However, ex-governor, speaking after activities for the Eid-il-Kabir celebration at Dodan Barracks, has asked Nigerians to often put God and the nation first in their daily activities.
“What is missing in Nigeria is lack of patriotism, dedication to God and to our people,” he said.
Tinubu said that the ongoing anti-corruption war embarked upon by the president will further reinforce Nigeria’s institutions and fast track development.
This came two days after Senate president shown up before the tribunal in Abuja on September 22, pleading not guilty of the charges leveled against him.
According to the ex-governor: “It is part of nation’s development. We cannot overlook a lot of things. And we cannot personalise a lot of things as if it was vendetta. We have to endure and be patient as we look for justice, equity and a balanced society.”
“If we do not strengthened these institutions, how can they work for the development of the nation? If we fail and result to blackmail, how can the nation reverse the decadence that is perceived in our society?”
Tinubu lamented that citizens often denigrate public officer as one who mismanage public funds allocated to his office.
The APC leader said: “Government officials are no longer believed by the citizens. When one has a public responsibility, the citizens look at it as if the source of wealth to steal and mismanage public funds and do things not included in the democratic norms and values.
‘We have to live by example and by our words. We can be talking about it alone. We have to work it without any iota of blackmail.”
Tinubu reminded how he went through such trial and was later discharged and acquainted, saying: “It is not what I haven’t personally experienced.”
“I have been through it. The second week I left office, I was invited by Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC. I went there and answered their questions. Later, I took them to court and I won.
“Some years back, after they discovered that my asset declaration had some questions, they claim. It is only then I accused the government of being selective.”
The APC leader stated that the country had overcame some problems but to avoid a repeat of such, Nigerians must put the nation first and do the right thing.
He added: “Yearly, we talk about sacrificecharged me to the tribunal. I went and challenged them to show proof. I was later discharged and acquainted because there was no evidence to prove their s and perseverance of people. If we want people to persevere, from the top to the bottom, we have to demonstrate as leaders that we are very serious about nation building too.
“Our leaders should look compassionately at the suffering masses and create the demand locally and diversify our economy. Go through it at once and have a nation that we will all be proud of. Develop citizenship that will be blind to tribe or ethnicity but believe in character.
“It is worrisome that when we meet ourselves outside the country, we embrace one another but immediately we arrive in this country, we revert to ethnicity, tribalism and others. We have to develop a new character and new nation.
“Every day we talk about the potential of this country but where are we, when one looks at a country like India, they don’t have oil but they were able to build an economy for themselves that is thriving today and creating employment for the youths.
“We want everything free but we have not put emphasis on the training of our youths and retraining of our teachers to put education in forefront of investment that is necessary for this country.
“We still believe that education is the weapon against poverty. And to achieve it, we have to rededicate ourselves and make those sacrifices in order to lift the country out of poverty,” Tinubu added.
There had been speculations that former Lagos governor was standing behind the trial of Saraki. Tinubu has supposedly walked out a pro-Saraki senator a South-West caucus meeting.
When Saraki became the Senate president ex-governor vowed not to recognize him. Tinubu stated categorically that as far as he was concerned, Saraki’s emergence did not reflect the mandate of the APC party.